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Another Study, Another Piece of Bad News for E-Cig Users

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 08:07

Experiment by experiment, study by study, the shine of vaping as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes seems to be wearing off.

The latest, courtesy of the University of California, Riverside, finds that e-cigarette usage can cause critical brain cell damage and death. The study points to the effects of e-cig usage as especially perilous to pregnant women and teens.

Study: Vaping Produces ?Stress Response? in Cells

According to the study, published in June in the journal iScience, nicotine consumption through e-cigarettes leads to ?stress-induced mitochondrial hyperfusion.? Also known as SIMH, this condition is a ?protective? that neural stem cells will undergo after exposure to nicotine from e-cigs, according to UC-Riverside professor Prue Talbot, the lead researcher.

Atena Zahedi, another researcher on the project, said stem cells are much more vulnerable because they are young and not yet fully formed into the specialized cells that they will become to carry out crucial functions. The flood of nicotine causes the stem cells to let other chemicals and substances in, which can irreparably alter their chemistry or cause cell death.

That damage can quicken the aging process or even cause neurodegenerative diseases, she said. ?Even short-term exposure can stress cells in a manner that may lead, with chronic use, to cell death or disease,? Zahedi said. 

Are We Reaching a Tipping Point?

The team performed their research using Vuse brand e-cigarettes. Together with industry leader JUUL, the brands have faced heavy criticism, and even litigation, for dangerous products that can even explode. They have also come under fire lately for allegedly targeting their products to teenagers.

The UC-Riverside study?s authors take special care to note that SIMH is especially dangerous for teens. One of e-cigarette makers? favorite themes in their marketing is that vaping keeps a user?s lungs safe from the damaging tar that is in cigarettes. But this study shows that nicotine itself is causing damage, beyond its addictive properties.

?Nicotine exposure during prenatal or adolescent development can affect the brain in multiple ways that may impair memory, learning, and cognition,? Talbot said. ?Furthermore, addiction and dependence on nicotine in youth are pressing concerns. It?s worth stressing that it is nicotine that is doing damage to neural stem cells and their mitochondria.?

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Recalled Pig Ear Treats Infecting Both Man and Beast

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 04:07

Admit it. You?ve thought about it. If you have a pet, you?ve wondered what their food tastes like. Oh sure, you wouldn?t dare do it, but some of those treats smell just like bacon!

Well, the latest recall will stop that wondering in its tracks. Across 33 states, the chain retailer Pet Supplies Plus is voluntarily recalling its bulk pig ear dog treats after reports of salmonella sickening 45 people.

Man?s Best Friend?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 people who contracted salmonella in this latest outbreak needed to be hospitalized. Thankfully, there are no deaths reported. The CDC believes the bulk pig ears are the cause, after 89 percent of interviewed infected people reported having contact with a dog.

In a joint investigation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agencies have not been able to find the source of the outbreak. They note that prepackaged pig ear treats are not a part of this recall.

They also note that while dogs can also contract salmonella, they can pass along the bacteria to humans without any visible signs of infection. They warn that something as innocent as a dog licking your face after eating a contaminated treat can cause an infection. Both the CDC and FDA instruct people who have purchased the treats to:

  • Dispose of any remaining treats immediately
  • Clean any containers holding the treats
  • Store any pet food and treats out of reach of small children
  • Wash hands with soap and water after handling the treats
  • Prevent dogs from licking your face, mouth or any wounds after they eat
What To Do if You Get Sick

Fortunately, most people who get salmonella only have to endure a few days of gastrointestinal distress. And while we may joke a little bit about this particular case, for some ? such as those with weakened immune systems ? a salmonella infection can have disastrous, even fatal consequences.

Many people stricken by salmonella or other food-borne illnesses have successfully taken legal action to recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages. In many cases, such as with pet food, the law regards liability for food-borne illness the same as any other defective product.

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Summer Injury Roundup: Who Is Liable for Injuries Away From Home?

Wed, 07/10/2019 - 03:07

Summer days are sliding past all too quickly, helped along by the variety of fun warm-weather activities available for families to enjoy. Some of the best fun often has a hint of a dangerous thrill to it, from rope swings to tubing at the lake to roller coasters. But if you or your child is injured while enjoying a theme park, pool, or friend?s cabin, will someone else cover the medical costs?

Here is a roundup of some fun summer activities that can, unfortunately, have a dangerous side ? and who can be held responsible if someone gets hurt:

1. Swimming Pools

From slipping and falling on wet pool decks to drowning accidents, pools are notorious for serious injuries. Unsuspecting pool-goers can be injured from chemicals, bacteria, and even poorly installed waterslides, diving boards, or old pool toys. Whether the pool belongs to a neighbor, the city, or a hotel, the owner of the pool is responsible for keeping the area safe for everyone.

2. Cruise Ships

Nobody wants to deal with severe sickness or injuries while stuck out on the open sea on a cruise ship. Luckily, many commercial cruise ships are equipped with medical bays in case the worst should happen. From wet decks to food poisoning to sea-related viruses, there are good reasons to be cautious on cruises. If you get sick or injured while on board, the cruise line company may be responsible for your medical costs.

3. Outdoor Jobs

Many outdoor jobs are proactive about keeping their employees safe ? in and out of the sun. But in some cases, employees may develop skin cancer, dehydration, or heatstroke, or suffer injuries from improper clothing or an unsafe natural environment. If you suffer an injury on the job, you may qualify for a workers? compensation claim, or you may have a premises liability claim against the owner of the unsafe property.

4. Summer Camps

Hundreds of children together with limited or unaccredited adult supervision ? what could go wrong? From extreme sports like biking or climbing to lifeguards that are barely trained, many serious injuries can occur at camps. Camp counselors who are responsible for many children can easily miss medical conditions or sicknesses. Generally, the camp is liable for injuries or illness that occur on their property.

5. Water Parks and Theme Parks

These parks are an absolute blast for children and adults alike. However mixing crowds, alcohol, waterslides, rides, wet ground, and excited people can all spell disaster. Depending on the situation, you may be looking at a lawsuit with the specific park, the overall company, an employee, or another guest.

A safe summer is the best summer, but if an injury does happen, an attorney can help you determine the right person to hold liable and how a signed waiver might impact your claim.


Related Resources:

Find Personal Injury Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
Heat Wave Injuries, Illnesses: Who's Liable? (FindLaw's Injured)
Employee Safety Tips: Working Outdoors in Summer Heat (FindLaw's Injured)
First Steps After an Injury (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)